The LIFE Course Program at the University of Virginia

Nesselroade with fellows

There are two parts to the LIFE academic program. The first consists of the program of study required for one’s specific PhD program. In addition, the following LIFE training is offered and required.

1) Participation in four one-week long semi annual academies on LIFE Course research and theory. The academy locations alternate between Europe and the United States.The academies are akin to conferences where fellows are expected to participate and faculty deliver lectures and provide feedback on the fellows’ work. Fellows participate by presenting their research at the academies through posters, informal presentations and/or formal presentations.

2) Successful completion of seminars on research and theory in biological, psychological, sociological, educational, and anthropological/cultural aspects of the LIFE course offered at the University of Virginia.

Students participating in LIFE at the University of Virginia may also be interested in spending a semester or summer working with faculty at other universities involved in the LIFE program on a collaborative research project and/or participating in other designated conferences or conferences being held in conjunction with our international partner institutions. Such activities are negotiated on an individual basis and limited expenses are available for funding them. Funds may be applied for after a Fellow has completed one LIFE academy.

Beyond these requirements and opportunities, fellows receive invaluable contact with premier faculty in their respective fields and have opportunities to forge their own professional collaborations.

How To Apply To The LIFE Course Program

The LIFE Research School is intended for graduate students who intend to pursue an academic research and teaching career. Maximum length of study is three years. To apply to the LIFE program, you must be a University of Virginia PhD candidate.

The primary disciplines involved in LIFE are: evolutionary biology, developmental and aging biology, developmental and cognitive psychology, social psychology, sociology, linguistics, anthropology, and education. But LIFE is a multidisciplinary program and applicants from any discipline are encouraged to apply. Successful LIFE students will obtain a certificate from the International Max Planck Research School LIFE.

A general announcement will be circulated when applications are being accepted. Application materials include a current CV, a letter from the applicant describing the reasons for his or her interest in the program and a letter of recommendation from a Virginia faculty member who is familiar with the applicant. All materials should be sent to Juanita Geer (, LIFE program coordinator for the University of Virginia.

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Last Modified: 15-Apr-2009 13:02:45 EDT
© 2009 by the LIFE Course of the University of Virginia